I am truly a mom over the top! I have been a compulsive overeater for most of my life. The first time I remember specific over the top eating behaviors was when I was 13 years old. That was 24 years ago. I started on this journey to health, to abstinence, to sanity in May, 2010. I hope that by blogging I can help, not only myself, but help others to know that they aren't alone. My tools on this journey are Overeaters Anonymous and SparkPeople.

Determination for today

  1. the quality of being resolute; firmness of purpose.
  2. a fixed purpose or intention 
  3. fixed direction or tendency toward some object or end 

For today...I am determined to make smart decisions.   I am determined to have a positive outlook.  I am determined to do something fun.  I am determined to get some sunshine.
For today...I will be grateful for all the good things in my life; for a loving husband, for amazing children, for a nice home, for cars that run.  I will not focus on things like the price of gasoline, or where grocery money is coming from this week.  I will focus on the positive and not the negative.

For today...I will take joy in every moment of my two year old son.  Even the moments when he isn't behaving because he is healthy, he is happy and he is about the funniest little guy I have ever been around.

For today...I will appreciate all aspects of my six-year-old daughter.  I will wonder at her creativity, I will glorify in her strength and I will know that her dramatic nature will serve her well in life.

For today...I will take wonder in all the parts of my six-year-old son.  I will sit in awe of his gifts with letters and numbers.  I will giggle at his inability to get all of his clothes on right side out.  I will be amazed as he beats me at yet another video game.

For this amazing day I will be grateful to God.


Warning Guys, this is girl talk

I was raised in an era (wow that word makes me feel old) where PMS was the basis of many comedian's jokes, of many TV shows skits, of much eye rolling.   So when I hit puberty and life became a roller coaster ride it was incredibly difficult to talk about it with anyone.  I really think that many of my food issues stem from, or were at the very least multiplied, by my fluctuating and out of control hormones.  For some women PMS was a hassle, a little bloating and some food cravings for a few days before their period and life moved on, for some it was more serious with mood swing, back pain and cravings.   For me it was chaos.  Half of the month I was a happy normal young teenager who ate like any other person, laughed at jokes, interacted with friends and enjoyed life (well as much as any normal teen does).  The other half of the month I was depressed, angry, binging on salty or sweet food, sequestering myself in my room and just feeling crummy.

It wasn't until after I was married, went through fertility treatments, birthed twins and tried to get back to "normal" that I got answers.   I was diagnosed with PMDD.  Looking at the list of symptoms (I experienced each and every one) I wish I had put it all together years sooner because once it was diagnosed I found what, for me, were miracles.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

PMDD; Severe PMS
Last reviewed: December 22, 2010.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a condition in which a woman has severe depression symptoms, irritability, and tension before menstruation. The symptoms of PMDD are more severe than those seen with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
PMS refers to a wide range of physical or emotional symptoms that typically occur about 5 to 11 days before a woman starts her monthly menstrual cycle. The symptoms usually stop when or shortly after her period begins.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The causes of PMS and PMDD have not been found.
Hormone changes that occur during a woman's menstrual cycle appear to play a role.
PMDD affects between 3% and 8% of women during the years when they are having menstrual periods.
Many women with this condition have:
Other factors that may play a role include:
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Being overweight
  • Drinking large amounts of caffeine
  • Having a mother with a history of the disorder
  • Lack of exercise


The symptoms of PMDD are similar to those of PMS. However, they are generally more severe and debilitating and include a least one mood-related symptom. Symptoms occur during the week just before menstrual bleeding and usually improve within a few days after the period starts.
Five or more of the following symptoms must be present to diagnose PMDD, including one mood-related symptom:
  • Disinterest in daily activities and relationships
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Feeling of sadness or hopelessness, possible suicidal thoughts
  • Feelings of tension or anxiety
  • Feeling out of control
  • Food cravings or binge eating
  • Mood swings marked by periods of teariness
  • Panic attack
  • Persistent irritability or anger that affects other people
  • Physical symptoms, such as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint or muscle pain
  • Problems sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating
My Dr. prescribed Lexapro© for me.  Lex is frequently used to treat PMDD and for me it has been a miracle drug.    My emotions and moods are now normal and although I feel a full range of appropriate emotions in any situation I don't go through a two week funk every month.  This also helps with my eating behaviors.   Yes, I still experience some  PMS symptoms, I go through some cravings for two or three days before my period, I often have headaches (but since I have chronic sinus issues that isn't always a sign), and I can be a tiny bit teary but on a scale of one to ten my symptoms, on their worst months, maybe hit a three while there were many months before my diagnosis that I was at a  ten to the nth power.

This post was brought on because I woke up this morning to my period.  The realization hit me, "Oh, that's why I had two bags of (light) popcorn last night instead of one".   That's the difference between then and now. 

If only I could blame all of my food issues on the PMDD I would be home free but sadly it isn't the cause of all of my foibles.   I struggle each day to handle my food.  Some days I succeed better than others.  Rarely do I have a completely out of control day but they do happen.  Today I weigh 60 pounds less than I did one year ago.  To me that is an amazing thing.  For now my only weight goal is to maintain and to track my food.  I have had such an emotionally and physically challenging few months that maintaining is a success in itself.  I have another week on this maintenance goal and then I am going to drop my intake slightly and give myself a loss goal of about 2 pounds a month.  I still have 70 pounds to go to get to my goal but am determined to do it.


Doing better

Okay, so I am doing better.  My compulsions to overeat aren't as strong as they had been.  I have been eating fewer carbs and more protein.  I have been up and moving more.

This weekend was a huge emotional roller coaster.  Friday I accepted a job at a local daycare center and almost immediately regretted the decision.  I spent most of the next seven hours sobbing.  It wasn't the thought of working that had me overwrought but the thought of entirely changing our family dynamic.  Luckily my husband, in all of his (if slightly belated) wisdom came to this realization as well.  The benefits of me working full time were far outweighed by the sacrifices our family would have to make. 

As the arrangements for the job were running through my mind I quickly realized that I would be working for just slightly more than three dollars an hour after paying child care expenses for our youngest and the twins.   I have been a stay at home mom since the twins were born.  We weren't planning on any of our kids going to daycare, mostly because  we knew it wasn't an option with the cost of daycare for three.  When I started applying for jobs several months ago it was with the understanding that I would apply for things that would either work around my husbands' schedule or there would be very little overlap allowing us to leave the two year old with someone he already knows well and the twins would have come home to her after school for just a few minutes until hubby got home. 

Well, I wasn't getting interviews and I threw my hat in the ring for this job.   However, when reality hit the thought of clearing $130 a week didn't seem important enough to put Chance into full time care.  To make the kindergarteners spend 40 minutes on a school bus each day.  To give up on all the sacrifices we had made over the past six years that allowed me to be home up to this point. 

The thing is, we aren't desperate for money.  Sure we are tight, we live paycheck to paycheck and sometimes "emergencies" come up but we are always able to handle them.  So, for now, we are going to continue on with our family the way it is.  Well, kind of.  We have some plans in the works to increase my income.  I have a small crochet business that has been growing slowly but we are going to add some oomph to it.  My husband is going to start producing some artwork to sell.  We are going to start working together to scrimp and save any little bit that we can.

Amazingly, through it all my food hasn't been terrible.  Not perfect but not terrible. 
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